(CBS NEWS) – The often-touchy subject of when older drivers should hand over their keys became an international conversation last month when Britain’s 97-year-old Prince Philip caused a wreck while behind the wheel. He gave up driving for good – not an easy thing to do for many elderly people who see it as a symbol of independence.
More than 41 million drivers over the age of 65 are on the roads today and crash injuries sent more than 290,000 older adults to the emergency room in 2016 but a new article in the New England Journal of Medicine argues “retirement from driving threatens one’s health and wellness.”
Eighty-six-year-old Joan Mastrianni has been driving around Albany, New York, since the Eisenhower administration, when she was in her early 20s. While she still hits the road with her 89-year-old husband Anthony to run simple errands, it worries daughter Kathy and her siblings, who wonder if mom should lock the keys away.